by Stephen J. Carter
The environmental stilling on the planet of Nebura escalates, threatening to advance even beyond the world-girding storm ring. Meanwhile, Levrok's plan to arm a resurgent Siqdori Empire with a tulvar arsenal nears completion, and his departure off-world is imminent. Two survivors' groups join forces as events spiral out of control.
"NEW SIQDOR" is the 2nd book in the “Zero Point Light” SF series, and delivers a thrill ride of untold mayhem, hair-raising escapes, space colonization gone awry, and a descent to the ocean floor and beyond!
Much to Thomas’s disappointment there were few if any goodies for the taking in the abandoned military base.
“Cheap buggers,” Thomas said feelingly from the center of a dilapidated warehouse-like building. Franklin and Mick stood nearby. “Whatever wasn’t bolted down they took with them.”
“Check the kitchen,” Mick said. “Maybe they left the sink.”
Turok walked through a twisted aperture. “Nope. The sinks are gone,” he said with a laugh.
The submarine entrance had led them into the lowest underground level of the largest building. They had climbed four flights of partly-collapsed stairs to ground level.
“This whole facility,” Mick said, “was abandoned by the Kalaal long before they moved to Watyra, and cities like it.”
“And it’s open to the elements,” Turok said, pulling away plexi fragments from the borders of an empty window. “No reason for it to be in good shape.”
“What about systems?” Franklin asked.
“Long gone,” Thomas said.
“Not in this building,” Turok added. “Maybe somewhere else.”
“There’s a more sheltered building behind this one,” Mick said. “Its walls have partly caved out, not in. There might be an energy shield there.”
“Show me,” Franklin said.
They trooped out and walked up the gently sloping hillside. The structure’s one wall was semi-circular, each end disappearing into the exposed rock of the hillside. Its roof appeared to be an extension of a downward-sloping section of the rockface above.
“Strange building in a strange place,” Turok said.
“Looks like the hill just up and ate it one fine day,” Thomas said.
Mick walked to one exposed section of the wall. It appeared as though a white stucco surface lay behind. Mick picked up a handful of gravel and tossed it in. The holofield surface rippled and roiled, and after a moment returned to its illusion.
“Bingo!” Turok said.
“How do we get in?” Franklin asked.
“You’re all business today, professor,” Turok said, smiling.
“It must have a wavelength signature lock,” Mick said.
“So a series of specific frequency tones would unlock it?” Turok said.
Franklin smiled. “You just described what used to be called a whistle.”
Thomas stood up, holding something in his hand. “Like this?”
He was holding a child’s small toy.
“Quit the clowning, Thomas,” Turok said.
Thomas lifted the whistle to his mouth and blew a single high-pitched blazon.
“Wait!–” Franklin began to say.
The front door exploded outward, and went cart-wheeling down the hillside, passing within a couple feet of Turok. Thomas was standing stock-still, looking at the whistle with new respect. Turok strode over, grabbed the whistle, and pocketed it.
Franklin had stepped close to the wall. “The shield is gone,” he called back.
They joined him and peered in. Inside was a pristine room, console desks and holofield timbrels all looked as though the building had been closed for the weekend.
Thomas whistled under his breath. Turok looked at him and frowned.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Stephen J Carter is a Canadian writer living in Chiang Mai, Thailand. He completed a PhD in Social and Political Thought at York University in Toronto in 1997. This led to an 8-year period of teaching at universities in South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand. In 2006 he settled in northern Thailand, and began writing fiction full-time in 2007.
In his early years he made several short-term forays into film and video production while involved full-time in academia. Along the way he tried his hand at writing non-fiction in and out of academia, and 8 years ago finally committed full-time to writing fiction.
For Stephen there is something about this northern Thai city that makes it a perfect place to write. His preferred genres to date have been horror and science fiction. On the one hand, he sets his horror novels in Thailand because Thais have such vivid customs that touch the supernatural. On the other hand, disheartened by the cultural Marxism that dominates social discourse now in the West, he feels drawn to writing science fiction for the rational optimism over possible futures it affords. Approaching SF formerly as pure escapism, he finds in it now a source of hope and forward thinking that can be very inspiring.
Stephen looks forward to writing several more novels in his two current series, Zero Point Light and Z Inferno.
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